Published: Sep 20, 2011 12:14 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 20, 2011 2:46 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Preparations for dropping the ban on gay military service have been in the works so long that Tuesday's official repeal is making few waves inside the military.
 
The Army, for example, planned a business-as-usual statement saying simply, "The law is repealed." Soldiers are expected to treat each other with dignity and respect - as always.
 
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, are expected to field questions about the repeal at a Pentagon news conference Tuesday. And congressional supporters of allowing openly gay service scheduled a news conference on Capitol Hill.
 
President Barack Obama said in July that repeal will not undermine the war-fighting readiness of the military. But opponents of repeal fear it will